Something isn’t right

Unlike any given time in our national life of self-rule, there is a feeling of disaffection and unhappiness across the Land of the Brave. It matters not who it is that expresses an opinion.

Twelve out of ten people anywhere in the country regardless of tribe, profession, age, class, tribe, profession, age or political party say that something is wrong, very wrong in the country. Only those who are singing for their lunch or who speak under supervision would say all is well in the country.

The politics of succession, which is upon us as a nation this year, is unlike what we have experienced before. What is at stake is much bigger, meaner, nastier and more awkward than what the nation went through in 1998 with the formation of the Congress of Democrats (CoD) or in 2004 with the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).

At no time since independence did Swapo's top leadership been so unrevered and despised from within, such that the political game is no longer about the rules of the party or the ethics of leadership in general.

In a way we are in a similar situation as America where the White House is a subject of ridicule more than honor and respectability. Instead of looking to the leadership as custodians of ethics and moral leadership, it is seen as the villain stamping the ground trampling upon the rules set to keep order and corporate governance.

Let us consider honestly and patriotically where our leaders went wrong so that we can move towards correcting the errors in the spirit of admitting that our leaders are caught flatfooted as the case has been in the last several months, we all and the nation fail, in one way or another. Consider the following circumstances we have been under and decide whether there is nothing wrong or not:

Since 2015 Parliament has been expanded from 72 to 104 members, the National Council from 26 to 42 whereas the nation has not grown exponentially to warrant the overgrowth of its representatives except to accept the development as a jobs for loyal comrades scheme;

A small and poor nation that we are that cannot feed itself has an executive president, an executive vice-president, an executive prime minister and executive deputy prime minister and over 25 full cabinet ministers with deputy minister or more, permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries, 14 executive yet unelected governors with advisers and a team of presidential advisers, who are salaried more than cabinet ministers, and who are state-driven and secured, plus the bill to build retirement homes for our former presidents. One may add an Executive First Lady, who for the first time is paid a salary of a deputy minister;

Several decisions by the top leadership of Swapo have been proven to have been wrong, unprocedural and unconstitutional. When leaders are caught to be breakers of the law they made, they are devoid of reverence, integrity and respectability that are needed to orchestrate discipline and order so that the rank and file can obey. This means that a leader that is either found to be breaking the law and being selfishly opportunistic has great problems leading or governing.

It can never be good that the top leaders of the ruling party have been accomplices to the violations of their own rules. In countries where political parties are truly democratized, the top leaders resign in admission that they can no longer be relied upon as the custodians of their party, and by extension the national interests.

There can be no stable future without careful planning and developing the youth. While the leadership mouths the importance of the youth for fundraising purposes, the current leadership is blatantly anti-youth and anti-intellectual.

Emphasis is placed on recycled people, not because they have indispensable ideas or skills, but because they are old, have been around and unthreatening. Why can we not love them and appreciate that they have done their bit and deserve respectful rest?

The late Myles Munroe eloquently taught that the most important moment in the relay race is not in finishing ahead of others, but when the baton is passed from one runner to the other. The Swapo leadership is clearly not interested in passing the baton.

Like Robert Mugabe, the elders prefer to hold onto the baton even if they know that their legs can no longer carry them in the lane. In the end they blame the commentators who say that the race is bad. This reminds one of the West Afrikan proverb, which says: A bad dancer always blames the drummer!

Mahatma Gandhi taught that one must be the change that one wants to see. Our leaders are by no means representatives of the good values of change and democracy. In the scramble for political power and more material wealth, the very people who are expected to represent the best in us, as Obama said in his obituary to Mandela, but are now the villains stomping the ground and to cannibalising the political space and by any means necessary frustrate the process of intraparty democracy that the ruling party ably introduced and in so doing earned itself a high reputation in leading by example, not only in the party or the nation but around the world.

Corruption is deepening and is official in Namibia. No action is ever taken when everybody knows who has their fingers in the national cookie jar. In fact, in democracies where leaders are not only expected to be clean, but are expected to be seen to be clean, such official tenderpreneurship would not be tolerated by the electorates.

In Namibia, it is fine, and whoever points out that it is wrong is blacklisted as unpatriotic and disloyalty to the liberation struggle, thus deserving of condemnation and vilification.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia